Free Your Mind, Or, Reframing Our Perspective On Shitty People

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could have straight-up, mature and super honest conversations with absolutely everyone in our lives?

Imagine if you could grab someone who’s really hurt you and tell them every way they’ve made you feel bad – hurt, forgotten, dismissed, judged, or disrespected. Imagine if that person could look you straight in the eyes and apologize for their actions, letting you finally release the discomfort of it all. Isn’t that what we sometimes convince ourselves we need? A solid, “shit, I’m sorry for everything. I was wrong. Please accept my apology.” We sometimes feel like with some heartfelt remorse, we can begin to possibly find it within ourselves to forgive and move on.

But what about those people we know we’ll never get a real apology from – the people in our lives who are unreachable either by distance or association, or have passed on? What about those who are totally reachable in a physical sense – we can practically turn around and grab them right now – but we’d bet our last dollar on the fact that they’ll never get it. They’ll never understand where we’re coming from and they’ll never wrap their brains around how they’ve affected us.

Are we supposed to hang onto the need for an apology until the day we die? Is it a good idea to carry the weight of their actions and effect on us forever just because they don’t have the capacity to see the truth of it all? Can we not forgive and move on until we confirm that the other person sees the error of their ways?

What if we redefined what forgiveness looks like?

What if we accepted that we may never get that apology – that acknowledgment – that we so desperately crave and instead:

What if we decided that we didn’t need it?

What’s wrong with saying it all out loud to the universe – declaring everything that we’ve needed to shed from our psyches and allowing our voice (even if it’s strained and trembling to find a comfortable space in the world) to fill the room as we release what we’ve been meaning to say for days, weeks, years, or even decades?

What if we reframed all the instances where people have wronged us and instead

understood that for every reason we need to forgive someone

there’s a reason why we are who we are today?

What if we understood that for every wrong we endure
we become stronger
and wiser
and more of what makes us uniquely who we are
and therefore by extension
supremely kick ass in this world.

What if we understood that for every wrong we endure
there’s someone who might very well be doing the best they can
that they too have been wronged at some point
and just didn’t know how to handle it.

What if we understood that we can’t ‘fix’ everyone
we can’t make people see the error of their ways if they’re unwilling or unable.
What if we understood that nothing anyone can ever say to us outside of us, can heal us.
What if we understood that healing begins within.


Image courtesy of Pierre Jean-Louis. Trust me. The crop doesn’t do it justice.

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